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North Carolina candidate asks for examination on timing of jail sentence

A man who lost his bid for a seat on the Hertford, North Carolina, town council has asked state officials to examine the timing of his arrest by the local sheriff’s department over less than $1,700 in child support payments, the Associated Press reported.

The court order that landed the candidate in prison on the day of the election was allegedly five months old, and Quentin Jackson is wondering why they waited till this specific time to arrest him, according to the news outlet.

“It just feels bad to be portrayed as a bad guy trying to skip out on some child support,” Jackson told WTKR 3 News.

Jackson said that his lack of money has prevented him from making the payments, along with the bills for the apartment where the kids stay with their mother.

“Their mom, she lives in an apartment. She doesn’t have to pay any rent. She [doesn’t] have to pay any light bills. She doesn’t have to pay any bills – I take care of that,” Jackson told the news source.

Program helps individuals struggling to pay child support find jobs

The local government in Durham County, North Carolina, is using state and federal resouces to provide a program for individuals who are struggling to pay their child support due to a lack of gainful employment, according to WRAL.com.

A significant amount in child support payments is owed by residents in the county, and the new program is designed to give job skills to individuals to provide their children with necessary funding and resource, the news source reported.

“We have folks who really want to support their families, but in this economy, of course, they are unable to for a variety of reasons,” Durham District Judge William Marsh said in a conference.

The New Life Court program will give individuals intense job training that ranges from learning computer skills to providing helpful tips for finding employment opportunities, according to WRAL.

The Durham Herald-Sun reported that several residents have already been helped by the program, which opened their eyes to ways to improve their resumes and computer competency.

Divorce opens door to criminal investigation in Florida

After an unusual divorce filing, officials in St. Johns County, Florida, have launched a criminal investigation and placed a woman in jail on perjury charges, the St. Augustine Record reports.

Sherril Thurston divorced her husband Bob, who has since passed away, in 2009. According to the news source, the divorce paperwork was filed in Florida where Bob Thurston owned property. However, Bob’s daughter, Tracie, has contended that her father and step-mother in fact lived in North Carolina when the divorce was filed. Florida law requires that one spouse be a resident of the state for at least six months before a divorce can be filed.

The separation of the couple is even more complicated, however, because Bob Thurston was suffering from dementia, meaning he may not have had the capacity to truly understand the consequences of the divorce.

According to a family law attorney in Zephyrillis, Florida, lawyers are seeing an increasing number of baby boomers looking to dissolve marriages of 30-plus years. This could be due to the lessening stigma regarding divorce for adults over 50 and the freedom couples feel once their children have grown up and moved out. As a result, child custody and support are no longer an issue. However, health issues that come with age can further complicate divorces.

Ministry supports troubled marriages in NC

Volunteers from several North Carolina churches have joined forces to help couples facing difficult times in their marriages, The Mount Olive Tribune reports.

According to the publication, there were more than 35,000 divorces in the state in 2009 and nearly half of all marriages end in divorce, but community members want to help married couples battle that statistic. In particular, they want to help the region’s large number of military families.

Whitley Church in Princeton started an outreach program for the spouses of servicemen and women, but the program has grown to include couples from every aspect of the community.

“When folks get married, the problem is that they have no clue on how to be married,” Scott Jennings, marriage and family life pastor at the church, told the news source. “People get married but don’t learn how to be married.”

Jennings brings his own experience with divorce to the program. He struggled with alcoholism and adultery, and he and his wife got divorced. However, he got his life on the right track and the couple was remarried two years later.

According to the National Center for Health Statistics, the divorce rate nationwide is 3.4 per 1,000 total population.